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Garmin Edge 800 Features, Flaws

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Garmin Edge 800 Features, Flaws

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Old 08-05-13, 07:33 AM
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Timtruro
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Garmin Edge 800 Features, Flaws

I just ordered a Garmin 800. Reading the reviews and capabilities of the device it looks like it has many more features than I will ever use but looking forward to utilizing some features. One thing that's disappointing is that detailed maps will cost extra. One of the reasons I bought it was to be able to map out rides, destinations etc There is a way to get some free maps and transfer them via mini SD card to the device but I would have thought that for the price, detailed street maps would have been part of the device.

I would be interested to hear from those who have used this unit for a period of time. Which features do you find most helpful/useful. What is your overall satisfaction or dis-satisfaction with it etc.
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Old 08-05-13, 07:52 AM
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I like that the display is big. I can see my stuff as I ride. The touch display is nice to toggle between screens. The map is nice you can search for things. I like the route feature for organized rides in unfamiliar territory with turn by turn directions and how far to the end. When in routing mode there is a elevation display feature that will show you where you are at in respect to the climb. I like that the battery lasts long enough to record my longer rides. I used to have my iphone or old 305 fail past the 4 hour mark often.

Overall I have been very satisfied with the unit. What I use the most is the cadence, heart rate and speed. That is a basic feature but I used to not see the combination together and I find it helpful.

There is a work around to buying the maps check out the blog on dcrainmaker
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Old 08-05-13, 07:57 AM
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I've had mine for 18 months. I have not been using the mapping function for a number of reasons. I will use the mapping and routing feature this October in Italy, but I plan to depend on paper maps for back-up. I do like the larger display over the 500.

I'm very satisfied. I like the easy change from one bike to the next. I'm always using the current speed, cadence, average speed, distance, slope, and heart rate data. It's a great on-board trainer that helps me push harder or keep a century pace, depending on the ride.
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Old 08-05-13, 08:03 AM
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The map may cost you no more than the price of a microSD card:

http://www.osmmaps.com/maps/united-states

Some more information here:

http://www.halterscycles.com/2013/06...n-edge-810800/

... and it's all legal
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Old 08-05-13, 08:24 AM
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Here is a flaw in the 205 and 305, is it still present in the 800?

The flaw is this: If the timer is not running, and you are moving, the entire screen should flash or otherwise let you know that the ride is not being recorded. Almost everyone, at the beginning, will forget to start the timer now and then. Also, if you hit the start/stop button by mistake, the timer may stop and you won't realize it.

Does the 800 do anything differently in this regard?
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Old 08-05-13, 08:41 AM
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If you start moving when the device is turned on a screen will pop up asking if you want to start the timer. Once underway, however, it's up to the rider to restart the timer if you stop the timer for any reason. I think this is a reasonable implementation. I have both Garmin and OSM maps. Both work just fine; I was having an unrelated issue which is what prompted me to unnecessarily buy the Garmin maps.

There are some settings required in order to get proper turn-by-turn directions when using a TCX file; Garmin's manual is terrible in this regard.
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Old 08-05-13, 10:41 AM
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I have a 500, but have not used it since getting the 800. I should really sell it. What I like about the 800, (above the 500): larger screen, more screens, true routing functionality, as many bikes as you have, (I'm sure there is a limit, but I have six in there right now, I think), and button placement/touch screen capability. About the only thing I don't really like is that the screen material seems to be softer than on the 500. Somehow, shortly after getting the 800, I got a smudge scratch on the screen. The 500 has held up way better.

Another hearty recommendation for OSM maps. Free, already configured for Garmin, worldwide coverage available and getting better all the time.

- - - - -

edit: Go to OpenStreetMap for worldwide coverage.

Last edited by volosong; 08-05-13 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-05-13, 10:49 AM
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The following link talks about a website that lets you select the map region. That is, you can select just the areas you need (rather than downloading everything).

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/05/download-garmin-705800810.html
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Old 08-05-13, 10:59 AM
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Thanks for all the information on the OSM maps. I am going to purchase a micro SD card and try downloading some maps. Makes more sense than paying for the Garmin maps as long as the OSM maps work, and from what I see here and other places on the web, they seem to do the job. On the start stop issue, from what I've seen, there is a pause feature so when you stop, it stops. When you start up there is a prompt asking if you want to resume timing, you press yes and off you go.
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Old 08-05-13, 11:22 AM
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You guys are likely aware that Garmin has official users' forums for these devices. Of course as usual there are some malcontents there, but the large majority of post are about figuring out how to use the devices, talking about workarounds etc. And of course, users who are blithely content with their devices don't frequently post.

https://forums.garmin.com/forumdisplay.php?20-Cycling
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Old 08-05-13, 12:09 PM
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On our WI group we have largely standardized on the etrex 20 ($168 from Amazon) and the ridewithgps web site and osm maps. I've been using the GPSMap60cx for years with city navigator. You pay hugely for maps and have to buy a new copy for every device. OSM maps are free and fantastic.

I looked at the 800/810 and decided I didn't need nearly so many bike related features and didn't want to pay $400-plus. I wanted to be able to create tracks and routes, have a good moving map display, and trip computer functions. You can still collect a lot of stats (like total ascent, moving avgs, etc).

With http://ridewithgps.com/ you can create routes/tracks and load them directly into your garmin device. You can support as many Garmin units as you want and all the maps are free. It's so much better than what I'd been doing for years. Love it. And it turns out I could also load everything into my older GPSMap60cx from ridewithgps. I'm totally converted and intend to get maybe more etrex-20s for the family.

I plan to write up a guide on how to configure the device and use it with ridewithgps for our group. (So much simpler/cheaper now than what I used to have to do) I'll post here if anyone is interested.

Last edited by dbg; 08-05-13 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-05-13, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
On our WI group we have largely standardized on the etrex 20 ($168 from Amazon) and the ridewithgps web site and osm maps. I've been using the GPSMap60cx for years with city navigator. You pay hugely for maps and have to buy a new copy for every device. OSM maps are free and fantastic.

I looked at the 800/810 and decided I didn't need nearly so many bike related features and didn't want to pay $400-plus. I wanted to be able to create tracks and routes, have a good moving map display, and trip computer functions. You can still collect a lot of stats (like total ascent, moving avgs, etc).

With http://ridewithgps.com/ you can create routes/tracks and load them directly into your garmin device. You can support as many Garmin units as you want and all the maps are free. It's so much better than what I'd been doing for years. Love it. And it turns out I could also load everything into my older GPSMap60cx from ridewithgps. I'm totally converted and intend to get maybe more etrex-20s for the family.

I plan to write up a guide on how to configure the device and use it with ridewithgps for our group. (So much simpler/cheaper now than what I used to have to do) I'll post here if anyone is interested.
You mount a 60Cx on your handlebars??? That's a pretty big receiver. The 20 is a lot smaller and I can see using one of them. Still, it is about twice the size, (in thickness), than the 800. How do you mount them?
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Old 08-05-13, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here is a flaw in the 205 and 305, is it still present in the 800?

The flaw is this: If the timer is not running, and you are moving, the entire screen should flash or otherwise let you know that the ride is not being recorded. Almost everyone, at the beginning, will forget to start the timer now and then. Also, if you hit the start/stop button by mistake, the timer may stop and you won't realize it.

Does the 800 do anything differently in this regard?
It's less of an issue with the 800 due to memory size. I use 1 Sec recording, turn it on at the beginning of the ride and off at the end. I generally don't stop it. It's hard to hit the start/stop button by mistake as it isn't used for anything else. Most functions are handled by the touch screen.

It will flash at you at the start if you happen to be staring at it. I'm not sure how long the 'ride started' message stays on.
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Old 08-05-13, 03:54 PM
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I am fairly new to road bikes but here is my $.02

My Forerunner 305 died after several years of service and we replaced it with an 800. I wanted an 810 but I got that $230 after rebate deal from looking at the DC Rainmaker site. I started with the OSM maps but they didn't have some of the street names and with the price I paid I wanted to try the garmin maps. I have not played with the OSM maps much but keep thinking I should try them and compare. We use the mapping and turn by turn all the time. We plan all of of our long weekend rides so we know how far we are going and the bathroom and water stops. I/we love it. My wife uses her Forerunner 405CX and has already decided I am getting an 810 for Christmas so she can have the 800 for her bike and keep the 405 for running.

My only bug is that sometimes it says turn "left" on such and such a street and it is a right. The map is correct and clearly shows an arrow pointing right and we usually know about where we are going so it hasn't been an issue but looks pretty dumb on the screen. I considered doing a screen shot and sending it to Garmin but rumor has it that they won't be foxing much since the 810 is out.

I only have a couple of complaints. The alerts are not based on speed. You can setup an alert for heart rate and so on but speed is pace so you need to go back to the old conversion charts and convert to pace. As far as I can tell you also can't disable the display for laps/splits. I want the splits in my data so I have autolap turned on at 1 mile. I want the data but it is a useless screen to display so when I scroll through the displays I have my laps screens. Also not a big issue but really don't want it. I have two training screens setup. One with as few fields as possible - 6 I think to keep the screen big. The second with more so I have the nice things like time of day, temp and so on. So when I scroll through screens it is just one more I don't really want.

All in all we both love the 800. I am just starting now to play with workouts to get 30 seconds speed intervals setup so I don't have to watch the time.

I am using the old heart rate monitor from the forerunner and thinking about adding the Trek cadence sensor.

One of the best features with all of the mapping devices is custom maps. I am building some of my own and found a guy with all of the local state park MTB trails. It is an overlay so when I am in the park I can see all of the park map, color coded trails, and bathrooms etc. It works great.

I still want the remote tracking of the 810 but at this price this just works great for us.
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Old 08-05-13, 06:28 PM
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I started using the 800 this year. I like the unit. I like adding the routes- some work better than others. Ride with gps works well. I would like some sort of reminder to restart the timer. I keep stopping at a rest stop and then forget to restart. There is definitely a learning curve. I Have deleted a few pages and realize that I want a few back. Really go through the manual.
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Old 08-05-13, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
You mount a 60Cx on your handlebars??? That's a pretty big receiver. The 20 is a lot smaller and I can see using one of them. Still, it is about twice the size, (in thickness), than the 800. How do you mount them?
The Garmin bike mounts work great. Never had a problem.
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Old 08-06-13, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by gabedad View Post
I would like some sort of reminder to restart the timer. I keep stopping at a rest stop and then forget to restart.
Why don't you just leave it on the autopause feature? I use that anyway for when I come to a red light. I don't have to manually pause it every time. It pauses and re-starts automatically.

Originally Posted by dbg View Post
The Garmin bike mounts work great. Never had a problem.
Interesting. I use a Garmin "bike mount" on my Vespa, but never considered it for a bicycle because the unit is so large and heavy, (compared to the 500 and 800). I have a Cx too. Good unit. (Also have two CS, an Oregon, a eTrex Legend and eTrex 30, along with a DeLorme and a Magellan. Can you tell I teach this subject in college. Up to now, have had to purchase my own receivers for the students.)

What data do you have displayed on your screen when you're riding?
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Old 08-06-13, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post

Interesting. I use a Garmin "bike mount" on my Vespa, but never considered it for a bicycle because the unit is so large and heavy, (compared to the 500 and 800). I have a Cx too. Good unit. (Also have two CS, an Oregon, a eTrex Legend and eTrex 30, along with a DeLorme and a Magellan. Can you tell I teach this subject in college. Up to now, have had to purchase my own receivers for the students.)

What data do you have displayed on your screen when you're riding?
I leave the moving map display up and add speed and odometer fields on top. My only other page (in the page sequence) is the trip computer to which I can toggle back and forth.

I use tracks exclusively these days because routes are never calculated exactly identical to the intended routes (supplied as pdf maps and gpx route files) I get for group trips. I miss the alerts a little bit but it's not hard to keep an eye on the displayed track --certainly no harder than watching a queue sheet or map page and MUCH more accurate since it shows me exactly where I am (not susceptible to unmarked streets/roads, don't have to stop for "page changes", etc).

On my group rides those of us with gps are frequently bailing out and/or correcting the map-only riders.

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Old 08-06-13, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
The Garmin bike mounts work great. Never had a problem.
p.s. Check that GoPro mount frequently. The OEM mount has been known to fail and your GoPro will go sliding across the pavement. Kinda expensive, but I use a K-Edge mount. Very solid, but drivetrain noise seems to be easily transmitted to the recording. If you get one of these, make sure you flip your image when recording, otherwise it will come out upside-down. freighttraininguphill turned me onto this mount.

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Old 08-06-13, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Why don't you just leave it on the autopause feature? I use that anyway for when I come to a red light. I don't have to manually pause it every time. It pauses and re-starts automatically.

Have not tried that - thanks
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Old 08-06-13, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
The Garmin bike mounts work great. Never had a problem.
My son rode with a 62s mounted like that. Unfortunately, he hit a bump, the 62s popped off the mount just as a car was driving by and it landed under the cars tires. The display was ruined but the unit still basically worked, so they're pretty tough. It was a fairly new unit so Garmin came through with a warranty replacement. He also bought a 500 for his bike.

I think the 62s might be an ounce or two heavier than the 60cx but I'm not sure I'd trust the mount to hold the unit on rough roads.
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Old 08-06-13, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
p.s. Check that GoPro mount frequently. The OEM mount has been known to fail and your GoPro will go sliding across the pavement. Kinda expensive, but I use a K-Edge mount. Very solid, but drivetrain noise seems to be easily transmitted to the recording. If you get one of these, make sure you flip your image when recording, otherwise it will come out upside-down. freighttraininguphill turned me onto this mount.

YES. The mount in my picture did fail. Spent 5 minutes searching in the weeds for the gopro. I have since been using a sturdier roll-bar mount and I removed the extra weight of the back viewer. But I like the one you show here and will plan to get one.

Also, the aftermarket etrex20 mount shown here (http://www.amazon.com/BKTGSMAP-FT-GA...andlebar+mount) failed for someone else on our recent WI trip. The regular garmin mounts work great. My 60cx has been rock solid for 5 years.
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Old 08-06-13, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post

There are some settings required in order to get proper turn-by-turn directions when using a TCX file; Garmin's manual is terrible in this regard.
I have a Garmin 800. How do you figure this out? I put a route in using Ride with GPS. It beeps if I am off course. Is this all I need to do or is there a feature I am missing?

Also, someone mentioned having routes show how many miles are left on the ride. How do you do that? I feel like I am doing everything by trial and error and not knowledgeable enough to know what to try.

Al, yesterday I paused my Garmin 800 when I took it off the bike and was walking around with it for a while. Of course, I forgot to start it back up again and never noticed the screen where it asks if you want to start. Frustrating.
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Old 08-06-13, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
...I put a route in using Ride with GPS. It beeps if I am off course. Is this all I need to do or is there a feature I am missing?
Another thing I forgot that I "hate" about the 800. Input a route, go on a ride, get off course, it beeps at you . . . but does not re-calculate the route to get you back on. Zoom out to see street grid for context and to see how far I got off course, and the minor streets disappear. Very frustrating. I hope it is something that I didn't "turn on", and the unit does have the capability to guide one back to the current route.

Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
Also, someone mentioned having routes show how many miles are left on the ride. How do you do that? I feel like I am doing everything by trial and error and not knowledgeable enough to know what to try.
It's a configurable display field. When you go into the screen display configuration mode, you can select how many fields are displayed on a screen, and you can also select which parameter is displayed in each field on that screen. I have mine configured for a default screen which shows 'distance', 'speed', 'cadence', and 'heart rate'. The next screen shows a whole bunch of interesting data, but not something that I want to watch as I'm in motion. That screen shows stuff like 'time', 'time of sunset', 'average speed', 'climbing feet', 'altitude', etc. Interesting information, but not something that needs to be constantly referred to. The next screen is a routing screen. That has stuff like 'time to next turn', 'distance to next turn', 'direction of next turn', 'remaining distance', etc. My last screen is the map page. If a route is loaded/followed, it will appear in a bold cyan line. It also displays a 'direction to turn' arrow when you get close to a turn in the route.

The way I found what was available is to just configure a screen, or create a new screen. First with the number of fields to display. Since I don't wear glasses when riding, (or anytime, even though I should), I played with the number of screens to see what would be the easiest to read while riding. Large numbers with fewer fields is what worked for me. Then, I had to decide what was the most important parameters to display on that screen. Just scroll through the parameter list to find the fields you want/need. I think I ended up flipping fields around to display something at the top instead of in the middle or bottom. I'm thinking of adding one more field to my main screen, 'gradient'. That could be useful when climbing.

The, what I call the, recap screen has a lot of fields and I just changed each one to display stuff that I want to know about a ride, (after I finish it). Again, I set the number of fields to be the maximum and just scrolled through the list to fill up the fields with what I thought would be useful to know. Tried to put them into some type of logical order.

Just play with the thing. You can't hurt it. Keep the screens you now have, (so you won't mess them up). Create a new screen, then just play around with the number of displayed fields and what parameters the field should show.
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Old 08-06-13, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
I have a Garmin 800. How do you figure this out? I put a route in using Ride with GPS. It beeps if I am off course. Is this all I need to do or is there a feature I am missing?

Also, someone mentioned having routes show how many miles are left on the ride. How do you do that? I feel like I am doing everything by trial and error and not knowledgeable enough to know what to try.

Al, yesterday I paused my Garmin 800 when I took it off the bike and was walking around with it for a while. Of course, I forgot to start it back up again and never noticed the screen where it asks if you want to start. Frustrating.
OK, so I'm about to unveil the secret incantations I use to get turn-by-turn directions out of my 800. First, I use the tcx files out of RidewithGPS. I assume any flavor of tcx will work, but YMMV. Second, the default settings, which apparently cannot be changed don't work in my experience - you may get the microscopic turn arrows, but they are at best useless. What we all want is a pop-up turn map.

The secret steps follow:

1. Turn the darn thing on
2. Go to courses and select the route you want to follow. You've already created this with RWGPS and downloaded to the "Newfiles" folder on the Garmin.
3. Select the tools (wrench) icon:
- Turn Guidance should be "on" (Strangely enough this is not the default)
- I turn Virtual Partner "off". The default is "on". Leave it on if your tcx has a very low fixed speed
and you want to beat your partner
- Off Course Warnings should be "on". This is the default
Now comes the most critical and most secret setting - select Map Display on this same screen.
- Course Points must be off. Naturally, this is not the default. I have no idea why it has to be "off", but there are
learned individuals on BF; perhaps someone can chime in.

This needs to be done for each new course, but if you leave a course on your Garmin these settings will persist, so no need to re-enter. You can also bring up a screen that will give you time/distance to the next turn, but I don't generally use that feature. What I do really, really like is that you get a very nice little map pop up about 30 seconds (or some dist.) before each turn. Works with Garmin and OSM maps.
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